Showing posts from February, 2015

10 Fun Facts about The Mermaid's Sister

Stuff you'll probably never be asked about on Jeopardy... Hi! In a spirit of fun (and as a way of procrastinating working on my next novel), I offer you 10 random facts about The Mermaid's Sister --things that even Alex Trebek doesn't know!   Bushy-bearded Brahms, or Ezra Scarff  O'Neill was named after my friend's neighbor's dog. Brahms' German Requiem was a major part of my writing playlist. Which leads us to number 3... O'Neill's looks were modeled after young Johannes Brahms and... Scarff's appearance was inspired by older, bushy-bearded Brahms. In an early draft, Pilsner the raven helped Soraya Phipps capture Clara, O'Neill, & Maren. Maren's name means "of the sea." Clara's middle name is Amelia, which was my great grandmother's middle name. The tune O'Neill hums to Clara in Chapter 29 is Brahms' Waltz in A-Flat Major. (Again with the Brahms, I know. But it's such a beautiful piec

A Box of Mermaids

"dreams all made solid" (to quote Peter Gabriel)   That's how I feel about this special package the UPS man brought yesterday.     I gave away my first copy today, to my sweet, bookaholic grandma. She was the first one to read an early version of The Mermaid's Sister --which she still keeps wrapped in tissue paper, as if it were a very precious treasure. I love how she loves the story. I hope you will read it and share her enthusiasm!   The Mermaid's Sister is a Kindle First pick for February:   and the paperback and audiobook can be ordered here:

O'Neill's "Purple Heaven" Recipe

Grape Pudding for a Snowy Day   In my novel, The Mermaid's Sister , Clara reminisces about a snowy day she shared with her sister Maren and their best friend O'Neill when they were very young.   Clara says: When Auntie forced us inside, we unwrapped ourselves from our layers of woolens and hung them to dry near the fireplace. And you were the first to notice the heavenly scent of Auntie’s hot grape pudding. Steaming in our soup bowls, as purple as an Easter crocus, with dollops of whipped cream melting into froth. I can still taste it if I close my eyes. Can you? We ran our spoons around the edges of the pudding to scoop up the part that had cooled from scalding to merely hot. O’Neill giggled when he took his first bite. He said it tasted like purple heaven.   Here's a recipe for grape pudding. It's also called Kram, and my Swedish mother-in-law always made it for her children after the first snowfall of the year. This isn't her secret recipe,

The Beautiful Journey

And the story grew wings and flew far...   A year ago--almost to the day--I entered my novel (now titled The Mermaid's Sister ) in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I had no intention of winning. I didn't really believe my entry would go far among ten thousand others, although I hoped it would get far enough to win the free manuscript review by Publishers Weekly offered as a prize for quarter finalists. And it did! Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree (the book's original title) received a glowing review from PW. I was thrilled! Mission accomplished. But wait! The ride wasn't over! I remember the July day when the phone rang and the caller i.d. said Amazon. I thought they were calling to ask how I liked a recent purchase. Instead, two very excited ladies gave me some of the best news of my life: I'd won the Young Adult category and was in the running for the grand prize. Not only that--they gushed over the book. They loved it. And I had thought that